A few months ago, the government of Paraguay released a long list of rare-but-real Paraguayan baby names. Here are some of the highlights:
Exaltacion de la Cruz, “exaltation of the cross”
Lluvia de Oro, “golden rain”
Linda Pelusa, “cute fluff”
Mística Paloma, “mystic dove”
Optimosprayn, inspired by the character Optimus Prime
His full name is Optimusprayn Ismael Meza Barboza (b. 1999). On his 16th birthday he got an Autobot insignia tattooed on his neck (his parents were not pleased about this). He said that, in the future, he wants to have two sons: one named for him, the other named Rodimus Prime, “como el hermano perdido de Optimus Prime” (like the lost brother of Optimus Prime).
Por Fin Bienvenido Carajo, “finally welcome f*ck”
His full name is Por Fin Bienvenido Carajo Rapetti. He was his father’s 15th child, but very first son — this is essentially the explanation for his name. Several of his sisters received similar names. One was Paciencia Contra el Destino, “patience against destiny,” and another was Seguiremos Inisistiendo, “we’ll keep trying.” Their names were later changed to Elvira and Chula, respectively.
She produces two major [jewelry] collections a year [for Tiffany’s New York]. This year, to celebrate her 30th anniversary, she has already launched three new collections: Marrakesh (including the openwork bracelets), Hammered Circles, and Paloma’s Dove, which features, most appropriately, a dove pendant.
Having been named by her father in honor of the dove he drew that became the symbol of the World Peace Conference in 1949, Paloma went through a process for designing the latter that wasn’t easy. She did about 200 drawings. “I didn’t want it to look like a Pablo Picasso dove,” she explains. “One looked like a Braque, and I thought, ‘No! Can’t have that!'” She did finally settle on a perfect version. “One looked like an angel. I’ve always been proud that my name stands for peace, and I thought, The angel of peace; that’s my combination,” she says. “A dove that will protect you.”
One of the very last entries under Ryan Succop’s biography in the Kansas City Chiefs’ media guide, under the section marked “Personal,” is the pronunciation of his last name.
“Full name: Ryan Barrow Succop (pronounced SUCK-UP)”
It’s a name that could lend itself to snickers, punchy headlines or flat-out ridicule, assuming he ever missed a kick. But the truth is that Succop is banging the football through the uprights with record-setting dependability.
The premise of parents attacking each other for their taste in baby names sounds yawningly self-indulgent, even downright stupid. Yet the French chamber dramedy What’s in a Name is frequently delightful, full of ribald humor and compelling, intelligent debate. (One joke about fetal alcohol syndrome is a standout, while another comparing coming out as gay to confessing to dog murder somehow avoids offensiveness.)
[The new anthology] begins with McSweeney’s’ mock letters section, easily its goofiest offering. Typical to the section is a letter from one Tom O’Donnell:
I have a common name. According to some estimates, nearly 40 percent of men are named “Tom O’Donnell.” … In the time it took me to write this sentence, chances are you named at least one of your children “Tom O’Donnell.”
This would all be fine if it were still Bible times, but today it’s a problem. Why? Because it’s basically impossible to Google myself.
Tom O’Donnell hopes, in his increasingly demented letter, that McSweeney’s will hold a contest, or a poll, or perhaps a tournament to find him a new name.
I’ve narrowed down my list of potential replacements to the following … :
Vladislav Fukuyama-Gomez: I love names that combine several different ethnicities, because they’re used in movies to tell you it’s the future.
Dennis Pulley: I can think of no better way to honor my great-grandfather’s memory than by taking the name of the man he killed.
QUIZNOS Presents Todd DeMoss: Sure, it’s a mouthful — but so is the delicious Chipotle Prime Rib sandwich, only available at QUIZNOS.
Normally, I’m not big on the idea that a baby’s name has any bearing whatsoever on his/her personality later in life — though I have noticed that anybody named Jack or Willie seems to have been born cool.
But the evidence suggests that Dennis is dangerous.
Dennis is charismatic, but he’s a rebel. He’s never a meek conformist who goes along to get along. He is often a big jerk, but not always. He can be a weirdo, a cynic, a lacerating wit, an obsessive nut job. But chances are, he’ll be what we say in polite company, “a strong personality.” Dennis can’t be characterized as any one thing, and that’s exactly the point. He’s doesn’t just march to a different drummer. He is the different drummer.
I previously described on my blog one simple change I made to the hiring process at my last company. I asked all of our recruiters to give me all resumes of prospective employees with their name, gender, place of origin, and age blacked out. This simple change shocked me, because I found myself interviewing different-looking candidates — even though I was 100% convinced that I was not being biased in my resume selection process. If you’re screening resumes, or evaluating applicants to a startup school, I challenge you to adopt this procedure immediately, and report on the results.
The legal saga of America’s most successful downhill male skier, two glamorous blondes and a bicoastal custody battle over a baby boy with two names has taken a fresh turn in a New York courtroom.
Bode Miller, the Olympic gold medallist, arrived for the hearing holding his nine-month-old son. But there he was required to hand the boy back — for now at least — to his ex-girlfriend Sara McKenna, a former Marine.
It was little wonder that the infant seemed confused as he was passed between parents who cannot even agree on his name: Ms McKenna calls him Samuel and Mr Miller prefers Nathaniel.
What’s the story behind your fantastic name? There’s a sort of debate about that. Cumberbatch could be Welsh for a small valley dweller. The ‘cum’ in Cumberbatch is hill. I need to look into it. Benedict means blessed. My parents liked the sound of the name and felt slightly blessed because they’d been trying for a child for a very long time. I’m not Catholic, so it’s not that. They liked the idea of Benedict and Ben, the fact that it can be contracted. I think Toby was their second choice.
Nyad sounds like naiad – naiads in Greek mythology were water nymphs or spirits. That’s cute, I thought. Then I noticed that naiad is an anagram of her first name – Diana. *Cue dramatic chords* So, could this just be coincidence or is something else in play?
There is a notion – called nominative determinism – that a person’s name can somehow influence the type of work or activities they do, and maybe even their character.
The idea is an ancient one but the term nominative determinism was coined in the 1990s in the Feedback column of the popular science magazine New Scientist (one of the examples cited was an article on incontinence that had been published in the British Journal of Urology by J W Splatt & D Weedon.)
Though a fair number of Spanish names for both sexes will find asylum on American shores, the majority appear doomed.
Doomed? Now that’s a strong word.
I don’t think most Spanish names are “doomed.” (So fatalistic!) They may fall out of favor for a while, sure. But they’ll be back. In a few generations, the descendants of today’s Latin Americans will want to celebrate their ancestry, and they’ll start reusing those very “doomed” names to which the author refers. It’s just the nature of things.
We thus tagged [our daughters] with Elisa and Paloma — elegant, uncommon and undeniably Spanish.
Ahem. Elisa is not undeniably Spanish. Paloma, yes, but not Elisa. I’m surprised this statement made it into TIME.